PRINT April 2003

’80s AGAIN

Lisa Yuskavage

The ’80s came to me when Schnabel visited Yale in ’85. He was at the height of his career, and he arrived with this long fur coat and a blond assistant to throw it to. He wore expensive clothing, a silk shirt and golden suspenders made of coins, and he walked up to all the boys, like Richard Phillips, and said, “You want a kiss?” He had a pocketful of Hershey Kisses and gave them to everybody. Then he told us to each get one painting and hang it up; and he talked for four hours. He was brilliant, more diligent and generous as a critic than almost anyone I'd ever spoken to. Only a real painter talks about painting the way Schnabel did.

As told to Tim Griffin